Paris: On Tuesday, Hend Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to France, hosted an interfaith iftar at the UAE Embassy in Paris in celebration of Ramadan, the Holy Week and Passover.
The event was the second edition of Majlon, a new series of events launched by the UAE Embassy in Paris that convenes prominent voices from France and the UAE around key issues of mutual interest, in order to further deepen French-Emirati ties.
The interfaith iftar, which focused on interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence, gathered public figures and representatives of the different religious communities established in France, including Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Sikhism, at the UAE Embassy to break the fast together.
Three representatives of the Abrahamic religions
The event featured a panel discussion, which focused on peaceful religious coexistence and convened three representatives of the Abrahamic religions: Imam Chems-Eddine Hafiz, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris; Baron Eric de Rothschild, president of the Shoah Memorial; and Father Xavier Gue, director of the Institute of Sciences and Theology of Religions at the Catholic University of Paris (ICP).
“By building on mutual understanding, coexistence and respect for human dignity, we can achieve many miracles,” said Hend Al Otaiba. “The UAE has shown, through major milestones such as the Abraham Accords, that its model of religious pluralism and tolerance makes it a haven of peace in a region known for its conflicts. We are deeply committed to the promotion of tolerance and peaceful, interfaith coexistence, in the UAE, in France, and throughout the world.” Imam Hafiz said: “To present the current dialogue between people of different faiths from tumbling into ignorance, concern and confrontation, the UAE, through its many actions, is enabling the search for a brotherhood between believers of different religions that is solidly rooted in the spiritual, ethical and humanistic values which the UAE represents.”
‘Inspiring people of all beliefs’
Baron Rothschild observed: “Interfaith dialogue is essential in this day and age, because, so often, religion has been a reason for conflict. I hope that events like tonight’s Majlon will inspire people of all beliefs to show tolerance and consideration towards the other’s religion, ideas and opinions.”
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Father Gue commented: “As Christians are about to celebrate Easter, Jews are preparing for Passover and Ramadan has already begun, I believe this type of meeting to be essential, especially in a country like France. This is a wonderful initiative from the UAE, in line with the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi, in 2019.”